Openly gay footballer feels ‘excluded’ from ‘OneLove’ ban

Josh Cavallo, an openly gay Adelaide United footballer from Australia’s A-League, has criticized FIFA’s ban on wearing “OneLove” anti-discrimination armbands during the World Cup held in Qatar.

“I’m disappointed with FIFA. They made me feel left out,” Cavallo told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour (h/t Emmet Lyons and Ami Kaufman). “You know, representation is so important and there are so many people watching these games, you know, that it just goes to show that FIFA’s intentions are not to make…football a place for everyone, you know. We have families watching, we have the next generation watching. FIFA needs to do better. It’s the global game.”

Cavallo made his comments amid controversy over reports that players were threatened with one-match bans and countries with ‘massive’ sporting sanctions if footballers wore the rainbow armband.” OneLove” to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community during World Cup matches. It was announced on Wednesday that the German Football Association is taking FIFA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the matter.

According to CNN, Cavallo is recognized today as the only openly gay top professional footballer in the world.

“If I had been there and had been the captain, yes, I would have worn the armband. I’m not ashamed of being who I am,” Cavallo said of likely players and nations to be subject to sanctions during the World Cup. “And that’s exactly why I came out and to be the person I am today. I expect my captain to wear it.”

Australia captain Matthew Ryan did not wear the armband in the country’s 4-1 loss to France in their World Cup opener on Tuesday. According to ESPN’s Joey Lynch, Australian midfielder Jackson Irvine later said he would “be in trouble” if he started a tournament game on a yellow card for wearing the armband.

“It’s really worrying because it’s FIFA that puts them in this position where it’s like they’re going to risk a World Cup, something that we trained for as professional athletes and dreamed of. to represent our country on the world stage,” Cavallo said of the decision. made by Australian players. “I congratulate the seven nations [who originally intended to wear the armband at the tournament] for wanting to embrace inclusivity in the World Cup campaign.”

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